Books & Current Events: Columbus Day is Dead, Long Live Indigenous Peoples’ Day & Italian Heritage Month

Thank you Howard Zinn

Thanks to the great Howard Zinn (and no thanks to my grade school teachers) I was disillusioned of Christopher Columbus before I left my twenties.HZ

And now an increasing number of cities and states are changing the second Monday in October from Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day (Seattle, WA & Minneapolis, MN); to Native American Day in South Dakota; and Discoverers’ Day in Hawaii.

According to the Pew Research Center, “only 23 states give their employees Columbus Day as paid holiday.”

Indigenous Peoples’ Day & Italian Heritage Month

Though some people are upset about the dwindling number of people who are interested in celebrating Christopher Columbus, and that more cities and states are adopting an alternative celebration for the day, there is no reason that Americans can accept the awful truth about Christopher Columbus and cease having a day of celebration in his name and celebrate the day instead for indigenous people. The month of October is already celebrated for Italian Heritage, and American Italians have numerous of other reasons to celebrate and be proud of their heritage than having the specter of Christopher Columbus hang over this month. With renouncing the second Monday in October as Christopher Columbus Day and renaming it officially to Indigenous Peoples’ Day during Italian Heritage month would show recognition and solidarity.

 

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